Newly Launched: SFFS Producers Initiative

Inaugural SFFS / KRF Producer Fellows Jonathan Duffy, Márcia Nunes, and Laura Wagner

Inaugural SFFS / KRF Producer Fellows Jonathan Duffy, Márcia Nunes, and Laura Wagner

A good day to be an independent producer, we just launched the SFFS Producers Initiative - a new suite of filmmaker services designed to support and assist talented emerging producers! 

The SFFS Producers Initiative will support independent producers currently working on narrative feature projects, through a combination of financial support, programs, mentorship, industry connections and access to a growing network of fellow filmmakers. Designed to grow organically in the years to come, the SFFS Producers Initiative will launch with two programs funded by the Kenneth Rainin Foundation: the SFFS / KRF Producer Fellowship and the SFFS / KRF Producer Travel Fund. Starting in September, these two services will be added to the Film Society’s already robust program of grants and residencies, each fulfilling a real, practical need in the independent filmmaking community.

The first round of SFFS / KRF Producer Fellowships will take place September 1, 2014–March 1, 2015 and the Film Society has selected three U.S.-based independent producers as its inaugural Producer Fellows. SFFS / KRF Producer Fellows will receive:

  •  A $25,000–$40,000 cash grant, which must be used for living expenses. Individual amounts depend on place of residence and estimated travel costs to participate in Bay Area fellowship components.
  • Placement in FilmHouse Residency program and access to all FilmHouse programs and activities.
  • One-on-one consultation with film industry experts from the Bay Area and beyond regarding casting, financing, budgeting, legal issues, distribution and other relevant topics.
  •  Presentations and networking opportunities with Bay Area narrative filmmakers.
  • Expenses covered for one 3-day networking trip with a Filmmaker360 staff member from San Francisco to Los Angeles, for meetings with with established industry professionals.
  • Expenses covered for one 5-day networking trip with Filmmaker360 staff to Sundance Film Festival, for meetings with established industry professionals.

Jonathan Duffy is a Bay Area filmmaker. He most recently produced Kat Candler’s 2014 Sundance Film Festival selection Hellion starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis. Hellion was a recipient of a SFFS / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grant. He also produced the award-winning film Pit Stop with writer/director Yen Tan. Pit Stop premiered at Sundance in 2013 and was nominated for the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards’ John Cassavetes Award. In 2013, Duffy was selected to be a participating filmmaker in the immensely successful A2E Direct Distribution Lab hosted by SFFS at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Duffy is a graduate from the Radio, Television and Film program at the University of Texas at Austin. Duffy is presently attached to several feature film projects in various stages of development.

Márcia Nunes has just finished producing her first feature, Manos Sucias, winner of the Best New Narrative Director and second place Audience Award at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, two SFFS / Kenneth Rainin Foundation Filmmaking Grants, and for which she became a Film Independent Producing Fellow. Previously, she was Associate Producer on Reaching for the Moon, directed by Academy Award–nominated Bruno Barreto and starring Miranda Otto, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2013; and was also the Production Coordinator for the Academy Award–nominated documentary Restrepo. Nunes holds a Master’s degree in Film Business from New York University, and has worked in international sales, closing distribution deals for various independent films; as well as in digital entertainment, where she currently manages Google’s Video on Demand store for Latin America.

Laura Wagner founded Bay Bridge Productions, which produces independent films, theater projects and video content for artists and theatrical productions. She produced the critically acclaimed feature film It Felt Like Love, which screened at both the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and International Film Festival Rotterdam and opened in theaters in 2014. Wagner also produced the feature film Memorial Day by Josh Fox (Gasland), which premiered at the CineVegas Film Festival and screened at the IFC Center; she was Associate Producer of the documentary John Leguizamo: Tales from a Ghetto Klown, which premiered on PBS; and she was Associate Producer of Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey, the award-winning Imax film that has played in theaters and museums around the globe. Wagner currently has a residency with the San Francisco Film Society’s FilmHouse program and is a member of New York Women in Film and TV and Bay Area Women in Film and Media.

The second round of SFFS Producer Fellowships, running from fall 2015 to spring 2016, will be open to apply for independent producers worldwide. The application period and criteria will be announced in the coming months; visit for details.

The SFFS / KRF Producer Travel Fund provides small cash grants to independent producers to facilitate travel to film festivals around the world screening their SFFS-supported projects. Open exclusively to past winners of SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grants, the Producer Travel Fund will provide the opportunity for producers to attend many of the international festival circuit’s most important events, allowing them to interact with audiences alongside their writer-director counterparts and highlight their craft to a wide range of movie-lovers. The Fund is designed to further celebrate films championed by the Film Society’s flagship grant program by helping the figures essential to their creation be a part of the team that shepherds them around the world.

The SFFS / KRF Filmmaking Grant is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2014 round of awards. More than $300,000 will be given to narrative feature projects in any stage of production that will have significant economic or professional impact on the Bay Area filmmaking community. The final deadline for applications is August 4; for more information and to apply visit